JACKMAN — Ryan Petrin, Brandon Ouellette, Tanner Daigle and Matt Turner have a chance to make dreams a reality Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

After winning the Western Class D boys basketball championship last Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center, Forest Hills’ version of “the fab four” will be looking to cap off an undefeated season if they can find a way to get past Fort Fairfield in the state finals.

“This year has been awesome,” Petrin said. “Ever since the beginning we knew we had a chance to go 18-0 and it’s happened.

“…Hopefully we can just have a perfect season.”

Others have contributed along the way for the Tigers, but it is their four senior stars that have carried them to a state championship appearance. When they take the court Saturday it will be a moment nearly a decade in the making.

“Me and Matt we both started school in kindergarten together with Ryan, and Brandon came in third grade,” Daigle said.

“We’ve done everything together all through high school, middle school and even elementary school,” added Ouellette.

That life-long bond has paid dividends on the court in the form of great chemistry, to the point where Petrin even said it is pretty much “automatic” when they play together.

“It’s just that we know each other,” he said. “We know what each other is going to do, we know how we play. We don’t really have to talk to each other, we just know what’s going to happen.”

It has also led to a lot of unselfish play over the years. Heading into this season all four were relatively close to getting their 1,000th career point, but it was likely that only one of them would reach that plateau. As a group, they decided Turner would be the one.

“We knew one of us was going to make it and we talked about it a lot,” Petrin said. “He was the closest so we’re like we’ll get him his 1,000th point because we wanted one person in our class to get it, so we didn’t really have any problems with him getting it. It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Most teams do not have the luxury to do such things, but the Tigers did by virtue of how their regular season played out. Forest Hills had an average margin of victory in its unbeaten regular season of 32.4 points per game, which — once the game was in hand — allowed them to get Turner more looks.

“(We) ran more plays towards the end of the season for him and got him the ball more late in the games,” Petrin said. “A lot of games this year we were up 30 by halftime. It was pretty much an easy season for us.

“We had all the bench players play a lot of minutes and we just left Matt in. He had 20 a game towards the end of the season just so he could get up there and get his 1,000th.”

Turner became the ninth player in program history to score at least 1,000 points on Jan. 23 in a 63-38 win over Buckfield after putting in a layup off an assist from Petrin with 6 minutes, 38 seconds to go in the opening quarter.

Turner recently passed Mike Hughey for sixth all-time in team history in points with 1,060, yet as a group not one class compares to what the four seniors have done. They have combined to score 3,579 points in their careers, with Ouellette next at 903, Petrin at 812 and Daigle at 804. Ouellette also has the school record for career 3-pointers with 177 — 46 clear of former record holder Phil Achey — and is second all-time in 3-pointers made in a season with 60 so far this year.

In a little over four years the group has gone a combined 76-9 and has won every home game since Jan. 6, 2012.

“We pulled the three of them up midseason (of their eighth grade year) all but Tanner — Tanner is still mad at me for it,” Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero said with a smile. “Matt actually contributed a lot of minutes as an eighth grader because we had some injuries and some issues and he ended up starting before the season was done. Brandon ended up starting some games and Ryan played a lot.

“…It’s a shame for some of them because if they played at a different time without the other ones, each one of those kids would have been a 1,000-point scorer. It’s just the time they played.”

Even as they pushed to get Turner the individual goal of 1,000 career points it was done in a manner that was a team decision. For the four seniors who have accomplished so much in their careers at Forest Hills, camaraderie and team goals have always come first.

“It’s pretty much always been there,” Turner said. “We’ve always been good friends.”

Having already won a state title in 2013, Matt Turner, Tanner Daigle, Brandon Ouellette and Ryan Petrin can truly cement their legacy Saturday with their second championship in three seasons — an unprecedented feat in the small school’s history.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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